Roger Federer reached a seventh Australian Open final of his career on Friday when Korean Chung Hyeon quit injured trailing 6-1, 5-2 in their semi-final.
Federer’s victory under the closed roof of the Rod Laver arena on a wet Australia Day evening put the 36-year-old into a 30th career grand slam final where he faces Marin Cilic on Sunday.
The showdown with the Croatian will be a repeat of last summer’s Wimbledon final which Federer won for a 19th trophy at the majors.
Federer gave away a decade and a half to his 21-year-old Asian opponent who had defeated former world number one Novak Djokovic and fourth seed Alexander Zverev in earlier rounds.
The Swiss was playing his 106th match at the event while Chung was competing in only the 100th of his entire career at the Tour level.
Federer dominated in his 14th semi-final at Melbourne Park, taking 33 minutes to claim the opening set on a fifth set point with a cross-court winner.
With the second seed leading 4-1 in the second, Chuing was treated for left foot blisters. He stepped back onto court and held serve but surprisingly pulled the plug after the next game.
“It’s like worse than regular blisters. Over the last few days, it was blister under blister under blister,” Chung said.
“I had it shaved off – now it’s red raw. They tried injections to see if it numbed the pain. It didn’t work. Much worse than a regular blister.”
Federer said: “I must admit, as well, you do take the faster matches whenever you can because there’s enough wear and tear on the body, there’s enough tough matches throughout the season.”
“There’s nothing you can do anyway about it. I’m just happy I’m in the finals, to be honest. That was the goal before the match today. I was able to get there. Not under the circumstances I was hoping to or not planning with.
“But I played a good match. He struggled clearly with his movement. I was able to take advantage of that.
“So for me clearly it was all good. I wish him a good recovery.”